This post is all about the new changes in relation to Universal Credit coming into effect this month please read and share especially for those with childcare responsibilities.
Here’s exactly what’s changing and how it will affect you.
What is an advance payment?
You can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you get by while you’re waiting for your first payment of universal credit.
How do I apply?
You can ask for an advance payment by:
- asking your work coach at your first Universal Credit interview
- applying through your online account
- calling the Universal Credit helpline
- You can borrow up to a month of your Universal Credit entitlement
Repaying the Advance payments
Deductions can be taken out of a person’s Universal Credit entitlement for various reasons, such as sanctions and for recovering debts such as arrears on rent and fuel bills.
When you make a claim Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can take up to 40% of your allowance to repay things like advance payments( advance payments of your benefits) or rent arrears.
The good news is that since the 2nd October 2019, the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from Universal Credit, to repay an advance payment, will be reduced from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance of Universal Credit.
What does this actually mean?
This is being reduced to 30%, which hopefully should reduce the financial hardship placed on benefit claimants.
How will this help me?
If you have an advance payment from DWP or are repaying rent arrears it means the DWP will take less of your benefits each month. This means if you’re currently being affected by the 40% rate, you will start to see more money coming in every month.
In all cases, repayments must be completed within a 12 month period, although this will be extended to 16 months after October 2021.
Changes to Universal Credit childcare costs
The second major change that’s kicking in next month relates to childcare support.
From October 16, you will have extra time to apply for refunds on money they’ve spent on childcare.
The new regulations will come into force on Wednesday, October 16, and will mean working parents and guardians will have an additional month to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs with Universal Credit.
How to claim back childcare costs if you are on Universal Credit
Those in work who are claiming Universal Credit can apply for up to £646.35 a month if they have one child and up to £1,108.40 for two or more children.
Do you I qualify?
You qualify for Universal Credit childcare costs if you, or both you and your partner:
- Are in paid work or have accepted an offer of paid work
- Pay for childcare for the relevant child or young person